Freedom Prayer and Jesus Ministries
Posted by: tinasue ()
Date: November 10, 2008 06:08PM

I am hoping that someone will be able to give me some information. I have read through the thread regarding this teaching in Tacoma and I and other members of our Chrurch are very concerned because the Jesus Ministries teaching and Freedom prayer is now being adopted by our Anglican church in the UK. We have been recieving teaching from Mike and Cindy Riches who are now being based in the UK. We are concerned that the theology behind the way Freedom Prayer is flawed and that it changes peoples focus from praise and thankfulness to the Lord for his Grace to an unhealthy focus on sin and the devil. Some are finding it helpful but others are trully troubled by the way that the prayer and listening is applied.

Just wondered if anyone may have any experiences that they can share.

The Riches are now operating in the UK as the Sycamore Commision a change of name from Jesus Ministries
[www.sycamorecommission.org]

Re: Freedom Prayer and Jesus Ministries
Posted by: cgj ()
Date: December 03, 2008 12:59AM

You are rightly concerned. The Riches' idea of "freedom" seems helpful at first, but in the end it is a false gospel and bondage. It is very simialar to the Galatians who were dealing with people in the church saying there were certain works that HAD to be done in order for there to be salvation. Romans 6 says I am justified at the cross. Sanctification then begins, but my justification is not dependent on my sanctification. That is the horrible error so many of us made: we believed any struggle (emotional, physical, spiritual) was due to either sin or the devil...we believed there was something wrong with us as people if we had any hardship, because then it meant we weren't "living in victory". We came to believe that in order to gain favor with God there were things we had to *do*. All of this is nothing more than the doctrine of demons. I was told awful, untrue things about myself based on "information" they'd gained from another individual they were "praying" for. Much of the blame is my own as I trusted them and believed what they were telling me. I submitted to false prophets and lived in fear that they would "get something" on me for the next 5 years.

However, God is good and gracious and kind and loving and merciful...He showed my husband and me that "Salvation belongs to our God", not to us. He showed us that the Bible is about JESUS and not ourselves. He got us out of there and we are eternally grateful.

There are MANY things I could share, but it would be rambling without a specific question. Jesus Ministry is a hot mess and it breaks my heart that Mike and Cindy are still spewing the same garbage.

Go to the Word...don't rely on "words from the Lord". If what the Riches say don't line up with the Bible, toss the teaching and pray for Mike and Cindy.

cgj

Re: Freedom Prayer and Jesus Ministries
Posted by: tinasue ()
Date: December 03, 2008 01:59AM

cgj Thank you so much for your reply. My husband and I have now left our Church because we were so at odds with the teaching. Sadly it seems that the Riches have assured our ministers that it is healthy to let those who do not see the truth of their teaching move away. I am so worried for my dear friends, they seem to be dependant on Freedom Prayer for direction and don't appear to be listening for the Lord's voice in other ways. We are left so sad by all that has happened but are glad that we claim our victory in the grace of God and not in the doctine of sin.

Re: Freedom Prayer and Jesus Ministries
Posted by: cgj ()
Date: December 03, 2008 06:53PM

Tinasue...I'm so sorry for you and your husband. When we left Clover Creek, it was like a divorce. We felt depressed. None of the leaders contacted us, and your former ministers won't contact you either. I'm also sorry for your friends who are becoming dependent on "words" rather than the Word. Sadly they will doubt their every emotion and every desire until they take their eyes off of themselves and return their gaze to Jesus and the beauty of the cross.

Everything Mike Riches touches seems to whither. Clover Creek was really growing a few years ago, but his bad theology caused a slow but steady exodus of people. Like I said before, neither he nor the other leaders would ask any of us why we were leaving (they would say things like, "God is building Gideon's army," or some such nonsense to pump the remaining people up and get them to stay). He then convinced Clover Creek Church to move from its old location to a new one 20 miles away...he wanted to get out of a less desirable part of town and relocate to the city. They changed their name to Destiny City Church and it never took off. He got out of there and now uses a completely different church (Harborview Fellowship) as his base. He and Cindy seem to do whatever they want and then slap God's name on it to give it legitimacy.

If you can, read "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" by Johnson and Vanvonderen. And pray for your friends...if they end up leaving your old church they'll need someone to turn to and that very well could be you.

cgj

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